On November 6, 2012 many United States citizens will be heading to the polls to cast their ballot for a new wave of elected officials, including the office of President. Over the course of that evening, and possibly even for the next few days, we will be learning the results of those elections. Some will be excited as their candidate or their political party wins elections and moves into power. Others will be discouraged when they find out that their candidate was not successful or their party lost power and will now be waiting anxiously for another try at success in the next election. No matter what, it will be an emotional time.
All candidates, especially those for President, have different visions for the future of the country and if elected will affect not only the next four years but many years to come. Some of these effects and changes will be good, others will not. And while I do not want to downplay the results of the election or the legislation that will be enacted, as a Christian there are certain things that need to be kept in mind.
- Yahweh God is supreme over all the earth. No matter who wins the election God will remain supreme. No matter which candidate is in office God still controls the world. Yes, Presidents and other elected officials make decisions that affect world events, however, God still remains ultimately in control. To lose sight of this truth is a great mistake. To think that the world will fall apart simply because the opposing candidate wins an election is short-sighted and a disgrace to God. God remains supreme.
- Romans 13 says that governments have been instituted by God in order to help control and manage society and no one is in power that God does not allow to be there. God can remove any President or any elected official at any time he chooses, however, God has decided to work through governments to help maintain order in society, especially as it refers to police function. Governmental workers deserve our respect because we are followers of God, even if those particular workers were not the ones we voted for.
- Romans 13 was written during a time when the ultimate power in the world was Rome, a county that helped maintain order but that ultimately was labeled as another Babylon, opposed to the ways of God. Just because God chooses to work through governments does not mean that he approves of what governments do. In fact, most civil governments throughout the history of the world have not been God honoring institutions. By definition governments try to maintain control and elected officials want to remain in control, to remain in power. Grasping after power is not the way of God, it is the way of the world. Therefore, as Christians, we must never follow our government blindly. The United States government while good in many ways, is ultimately about promoting itself, not God. Many decisions that are made in the best interest of the United States are not decisions that Christians should support. As Christians we are called to respect and honor the authorities because they are instituted by God. However, we must remember our ultimate allegiance is not to any particular government, but to Jehovah God. Governments are of this world and they will ultimately pass away but God is eternal.
- Both candidates running for President are promising to make the United States and the World a better place. They believe that the legislation that they would like to enact will be better for everyone. While there is some truth to the notion that legislation and decisions made by governments can bring good to the world, as Christians, we are fooling ourselves if we think society will be made right if we simply elect the correct President. The only thing that will solve the ills of society is for God’s Kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. The right legislation will not make everything right in society, the Kingdom of God becoming a reality will. Too often Christians put all of their faith in governmental legislation in order to solve the evils of the world. Legislation can help, but as Christians we should stop trusting solely in the next piece of legislation and start considering how we as followers of God can live out the Kingdom in such a way as to make God’s will a reality here and now.
- Elections in the United States have become bitter and hate filled. It has become common to not only disagree with an opposing candidate but to also speak disparagingly about them. It is alright to disagree with a candidate or even to vote against them but when did it become acceptable to insult their character or to say mean things about them. Quite frankly, I am tired of hearing Christians speak evil towards those they disagree with simply because they are elected officials. Just because the elected official can not hear the words said does not make it right. In a society where politics have become so hate filled it is time for Christians to set the example for everyone else in speech, in love, in purity.
No matter what happens, November 6, 2012 will be a monumental day in the life of the United States. And while I am praying for the election, my concern is not with which candidate is elected. My concern is that we as Christians will lose focus of what is most important. That we will put all of our energy into the election and a particular candidate and in so doing will put our trust in a false God. Yahweh God is the supreme being in the Universe and no matter who gets elected that will not change. May we put our trust in the only unchanging reality, God almighty, and may we join the prayer of millions around the world; God, may your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it already is in Heaven.